Jonas Cuaron’s debut Writer/Director offering to the big screen is both sweetand unique. After taking photographs of every aspect of life for a year Cuaron edited them all together and provided a narrative voiced over the pictures. After getting used to this style it really works and thinking back to it it feels like a standard 24 frames a second. Some research has been done as to whether our memory works in moving images or in stills and I believe this film is addressing that concept.
Another subject that is tackled within the feature, in a Linklater-esque encounter in a coffee shop is the relevance of photography to art and vise versa. The main character is on a quest to gain the perfect photograph through her travels to Mexico, she puts so much emphasis on this that it is constantly weighing her down. Cuaron is obviously a believer in the opposite school of thought that photographs are just reflecting and documenting every day life and that is their true beauty. This is very reflective of the digital era considering that in the developed world most people have a camera on them at all times and, without the restriction of film, can photograph as much as they desire, fundementally their entire life, as in Cuarons case.
The narrative is simple yet sweet and innocent. It is a pseudo coming of age film which looks at two different age groups and cultural backgrounds. Molly is an American university student who is desperate to escape Americanculture and wished to do this by embracing Mexico, a country which faces much American prejudice. Diego is a fourteen year old Mexican who is attentive and horny giving Molly all the attention she craves. The relationship is, of course, kept platonic but with the underlying theme of desire both for something new and something taboo.
The title continues the playfulness of cross cultural communication by emphasising the ‘enye’ sound within both words. Looking at the title as someone English speaking you would think it meant ‘year one’ or ‘one year’, but although this is still a fitting title it actually translates to ‘The year of the nail’. This film is interesting and unique, the dialogue and narrative may not be perfect but this should be seen as a trailblazer for low budget filming.